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European Consumers' Organisation

BEUC, the European Consumers' Organisation, acts as the umbrella group in Brussels for its members and its main task is to represent them at European level and defend the interests of all Europe's consumers. BEUC investigates EU decisions and developments likely to affect consumers, with a special focus on five areas identified as priorities by its members: Financial Services, Food, Digital Rights, Consumer Rights & Enforcement and Sustainability.

European Parliament adopts new EU law to cut farm antimicrobial use
Today, the plenary of the European Parliament adopted a long-awaited law which will restrict the use of antimicrobials in food-producing animals and thus help to fight antimicrobial resistance.

'New Deal for Consumers' - clear improvement but not the needed quantum leap
The European Commission proposed on 11 April to give teeth to consumer law by publishing proposals which include tougher sanctions for companies that act illegally and a limited collective compensation tool (collective redress) across the EU.

Dangerous consumer goods found in high numbers in EU
In 2017, more than 2,000 non-food products failing safety requirements were notified to the EU’s rapid alert system (RAPEX). This figure might however only show the tip of the iceberg because of insufficient market checks.

Disappointing vote puts some consumer rights up for the chop
Consumer protection in the EU for the purchase of goods could be weakened following a poor vote in the European Parliament Internal Market (IMCO) Committee today. Members of the committee decided to remove the free choice of remedies which currently exists in several countries when a consumer discovers a fault with a product he bought.

Insufficient changes to terms and conditions of social media giants show need for real EU sanctions
Facebook, Twitter and Google+ have made changes to their terms of service in an effort to comply with EU consumer protection rules, following a joint action of national consumer authorities. However, Facebook and Twitter have not complied with all the changes required.

European Union makes shopping without borders a reality
MEPs will vote today to make it easier for consumers to buy from, or access, a website based in another EU country. Through so-called geo-blocking practices traders often prevent consumers of other EU countries purchasing products from their online shops. The new measure will enter into force later this year, forbidding discrimination of consumers based on their nationality or place of residence.

Misleading food claims: 9 years and counting for EU to act
It’s already 9 years that BEUC and its member organisations began calling for nutrient profiles to be adopted. These tools would help slash the number of health and nutrition claims which give a healthy halo to unhealthy foods.

EU top court ruling exposes need for European collective redress tool
Today’s ruling by the European Court of Justice has limited consumer options for better access to justice in mass harm cases. It stated that European consumers cannot group their claims and go to one single court in their home country collectively when faced with the same misconduct and resulting damages by a company.

EU urges stricter checks for safer goods
Today the European Commission proposed to beef up checks of consumer goods available in the EU such as toys, phones or TVs. The main proposal is to increase EU Commission staff to assist Member States in better monitoring the merchandise that ends up on the market.

EU improves system to test cars after Dieselgate
Today, the European Parliament, Member States and Commission reached an agreement to reform the system for approving cars before they go on sale and checking them when on the market. While the agreement does not fully solve the issues with CO2 emissions of cars, it represents progress compared to the current, flawed system.

European consumers face significant hurdles when shopping online outside the EU, new research shows
Although more and more Europeans shop online, their trust in the market outside the EU remains low.

New research reveals alarming security flaws in smartwatches for children
Children smartwatches, on sale in many European countries, pose massive security risks. Research published today by Forbrukerrådet, the Norwegian member organisation of BEUC, has revealed that strangers can seize control of the tested watches and use them to track and eavesdrop on children.

New EU plans to beef up consumers’ online privacy
The European Commission is presenting plans today to overhaul a law covering the confidentiality and security of electronic communications such as phone, e-mails or messaging services.

EU pressure on 7 Member States caught up in dieselgate is welcome
Today, the European Commission announced it would open infringement procedures against 7 Member States for their handling of the dieselgate scandal.

Future fuel efficient cars set to boost consumer savings: study
Owning and running a fuel-efficient car should become much more affordable between 2020 and 2030 compared with today, provided new technologies are brought to the market. This is the main finding of a new study released today by The European Consumer Organisation, BEUC.

EU should focus on boosting competition in telecom sector overhaul
The European Commission has today proposed to adapt EU telecom rules and ensure citizens have high-speed access to the internet and better protection in communication services. The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) welcomes these measures but is worried that the new rules could lead to less competition between telecom providers.

EU modest in opening up online content market to consumers
According to European Commission plans presented today, it will become easier for consumers to watch online TV series, films and sports events broadcast by foreign channels. The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) has for long argued that consumers should not be blocked by foreign broadcasters from watching TV series, sports events and movies online. BEUC welcomes the fact that the Commission is taking an important first step in giving consumers a wider choice of online content.

Internet users better off as EU moves to protect net neutrality
The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) welcomes today’s decision to keep the internet free and able to innovate. The EU body gathering national telecom regulators (BEREC) is releasing rules on net neutrality which will prevent internet providers from blocking or slowing down consumers who wish to access popular services such as Skype and Netflix or giving priority access to own programmes.

BEUC and MEPs call for end to high international phone and SMS costs in EU
The European Consumer Organisation and Members of the European Parliament from across political ailes today called on the European Commission to bring down unjustifiably high costs for calling or texting another EU country.

Privacy Shield opens hole in protection of EU citizens' privacy
The European Commission today is clearing the way for the transfer of EU consumers' personal data to the US. However, the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) is disappointed with the agreement that underpins this transfer of data because it does not sufficiently protect EU citizens.

Volkswagen settles in the United States
The settlement of Volkswagen with US consumers and government regulators has been announced.

Consumers to benefit from geo-blocking overhaul
Proposed new rules on geo-blocking will benefit consumers, BEUC said today, following an announcement from the European Commission on a package to boost the online market within the EU.

Many goods recalled, many good reasons for stricter surveillance
New figures out today for the number of hazardous non-food products recalled in 2015 confirm the urgent need to tighten product surveillance rules in Europe.

Privacy Shield fails data protection test
Europe's national data protection authorities have voiced substantial concerns regarding a planned data transfer agreement between the EU and US. The so-called Privacy Shield proposal does not provide sufficient legal safeguards for protecting Europeans' personal data when it is transferred across the Atlantic, according to the data protection bodies.

European Parliament calls for TiSA agreement that protects and benefits consumers
Today, the European Parliament’s plenary adopted recommendations to the European Commission on the ongoing ‘Trade in Services’ (TiSA) agreement.